[sword-devel] e-Sword support by The Sword Project

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 10:40:03 MST 2009

On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 12:13 PM, jonathon <jonathon.blake at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 15:35, Greg Hellings  wrote:
>> Any particular reason you recommend so strongly against it?
> The major reasons are:
> * Copyright issues;

What is being talked about is patching an open source library into the
SWORD library to support yet another document format on disk.  Is
there a copyright issue with that? So long as the software licenses of
SWORD and the other library allow linking them together, which they
do, since both libraries are GPL, there is no copyright issue from the
development perspective.

Copyright of the text? Just like people downloading modules from
locales where it is illegal, that is an issue the user must work out.
They are responsible to be sure they do not illegally acquire a copy
of the text or use texts which have copyright specifications stating
they are only allowed to be accessed through e-Sword.  This is not
something the SWORD Project is responsible to police for its users.

> * EULA violations;

Again - the SWORD Project is not an End User of e-Sword. Therefore,
the EULA of e-Sword does not apply to the SWORD Project.  All that is
being talked about is linking in libmdb to SWORD and telling it where
to look for modules which might be from e-Sword.  This is no different
from another open source project pointing to where files stored from
one program are located -- it might be a violation in some or all
cases for the end user of e-Sword to access those modules with another
program, but that is the End User's responsibility to know.

He claims in his EULA of the program itself, that "You may not host
e-Sword files, neither the program itself nor any associated modules,
on any web site or server on the Internet.  You may not disassemble or
reverse engineer e-Sword, nor any of its associated modules."  The
only question then becomes if displaying the modules in a program
other than e-Sword is a reverse engineering of the module.  If he is
using freely open and available formats which are read by a
GPL-covered library, then it stands to reason that no, accessing those
modules in this way is not a violation of his EULA -- but someone
might go and ask Rick Meyers how he feels about it.  Granted, I'm not
expert on the above, so my reasoning might not be the same as those in
the legal sphere.  I would hate for someone to go to all the work of
making SWORD compatible with e-Sword modules and fight the legal
battle, only to engender bad feelings between Rick and CrossWire.

> A minor reason is that it further adds to the confusion between
> e-Sword, and _The Sword Project_.

And if our software is compatible, then at least the questions of,
"Why can't I see my e-Sword modules in <front-end>" are answerable in
a more user-friendly way: you can.  If they are crooning about
problems in the module, we can point them back to the actual e-Sword
site, or we can report the problems ourselves.  So, while it might add
to the confusion, it makes more users happy that they can do what they
think they should be able to do, but currently can't: access e-Sword
content from SWORD front ends.


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